How do you convince someone you’ve never met to hire you or buy from you?
Sales don’t just happen. No one ever talks to another person and *poof* all of a sudden money appears in their pocket.
You need to convince the other person you can make their life better. You need to show them you’re legit. You need to build trust.
And one of the best ways to do that is to have a couple of good testimonials and reviews.
But asking for testimonials is easier said than done. The moment you need to do it yourself you…
- Don’t know how to ask for one.
- Don’t know what makes a testimonial good.
- Don’t know where to use them.
In this article, we’ll look at what makes an awesome testimonial, how to write one, and how to get some good ones from your clients.
The Power of Testimonials
Telling someone you’re cool is one thing, having another person else say you’re cool is something completely different.
Getting customers and clients to vouch for you can make a big impact. In fact, Wikijob created an A/B test where they tested a landing page with a testimonial against a page without one.
The page with a customer quote had a 34% increase in conversion compared to the one without a quote.
Humans hate taking risks. 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews. Testimonials and reviews reassure potential buyers you’re cool and they’re not going to waste their money.
The 8 Most Common Testimonial Types (With Examples)
There are quite a few different types of testimonials. Some are super effective, some take quite a bit of work, and some require a lot from your customer.
But the effort is worth it. Later on, I’ll provide you with scripts you can send to your clients or customers to get more reviews and testimonials.
But first, let’s check out the different formats you can use.
The first format is the simplest. It just consists of a sentence or two talking about the person’s experience with the company. It’s easy to implement, but it won’t skyrocket your credibility. There’s no proof that the testimonial is real or if the company wrote it themselves.
You really have to make sure they come off as authentic.Otherwise, it will be hard for your visitor to see if the quotes are real, or if you just put them there so it helps sales.
Plain text with images
Adding the person’s headshot is a great way to make your testimonials more credible. If you add a name and an image, skeptics can go out an verify the person is real. It’s a little harder to implement, since not everyone is comfortable having their picture displayed.
That said, always try to get a picture.
Data testimonials allow you to show leads how much your product has helped other customers. If a company sold $500,000 worth of product thanks to your software or service, you can put that on the site and it’ll give your visitors a good idea of what your product is capable of.
A testimonial of a peer is like a friend introducing you to their social circle. You’re more likely to be accepted by the group if your friend introduces you. It not only helps with getting to new audiences, it also makes you look like a baller.
Case studies allow you to show leads how you’d approach a problem. It gives them a taste of what it would be like to work with you, and you get to show off your mad skills.
Add a quote from the company the case study is about, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
The downside is that they take quite a while to create, since you need to write a case study for them.
The screenshot testimonial is pretty straightforward. If you get an email or a tweet from a customer saying they’ve had some success, you take a screenshot and put it on your website. It’s very credible because it’s hard to fake.
Video testimonials are incredibly powerful because it’s easy to see if you’re faking it or not. Not everyone is comfortable getting in front of a camera and talking about their experiences, that’s why they’re the hardest to get.
If you don’t want to spend time gathering quotes from existing customers, you can go out on the web and look at what other people are saying about your product. Tweets are out there and you don’t have to ask permission for them to be displayed. You can show tweets on your homepage to let people know your product is good.
How to Write a Powerful Testimonials That Build Trust
Different formats are cool and all, but how do you write a good testimonial? A lot of times when you ask someone to write you a little blurb, they freeze because they don’t know what to write. That’s why I recommend using one of the 3 frameworks below.
Problem, Agitate, Solve, Outcome
With the PASO framework, you’re telling people how your life was before, how it affected you, what the company or person did to solve it, and how your life is now. It gives potential customers a good overview of what the whole experience was like. For example:
We didn’t know how to create good content (problem). Our traffic numbers were down and we were really struggling (agitate). XYZ helped us create an easy to follow marketing plan. Our traffic has been up since last month! (solve)
Before, Bridge, After
Using this framework, you tell people what it was like before, what the company did, and what the outcome was. Pretty straightforward.
Before working with XYZ company we weren’t getting results (before). Thanks to XYZ’s marketing plan (bridge), we now get 5 new leads every single day (after).
Features, Advantages, Benefits
Again, pretty straightforward stuff. You tell people what the company did, what the result was, and how it benefitted you
XYZ’s content plan helped us figure out what we were doing (feature). Our traffic is up by 46% (advantage) and we’ve booked more sales than the past two months combined!(benefit)
Criteria for a baller testimonial
Not all quotes are created equal. The best ones are…
There’s nothing worse than an inauthentic quote. It’ll wreck your credibility in an instant and it’ll make marketing your business a lot harder
Take a look at this example:
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with XYZ company. You should hire them by clicking here.”
That doesn’t sound authentic at all and probably won’t work. But if you see a testimonial like this:
“XYZ was great! They helped increase my conversions by 83%. I couldn’t be happier!”
You’re more likely to believe it because it sounds like it could have been said by a real person.Add a headshot and a name, and you’ve got yourself a pretty good one.
People skim pages before they read them, and short testimonials give you the chance to quickly make a good first impression. People don’t need to hear the whole story, they just need to know you’re legit and you can help them.
“So, funny story… I was driving home and I was thinking about ways I could increase the traffic to my website. I felt a bit hungry, so I took a little detour to shove fast food in my face. When I got home I decided to check out different companies that could help me increase my traffic. Lo and behold XYZ company and their neat little website popped up. I adored the animations they did. Anyway, I decided to contact them for a quote and got a reply back almost instantly. They seemed really friendly so blah blah blah…”
You don’t need to tell the whole story, you just need to tell the important parts. Your testimonials should be long enough to tell people what’s in it for them, but short enough so it doesn’t bore your readers to death.
Longer quotes work, though, if they’re interesting.
The best testimonials are specific. Reason being is that it’s very hard to make up details and it’s very easy to notice when people are bullshitting on the details. If someone gives you a number that doesn’t make sense, you’ll quickly know.
“XYZ company increased our traffic by 67% in 23 days.”
is better than:
“XYZ company increased our traffic.”
A common mistake is that people use testimonials that make the other person look good, but they don’t talk about what’s in it for the person reading it. Check out this testimonial:
“XYZ is a funny guy. I love working with him! I bet he gets all the ladies.”
And this one:
XYZ helped our traffic grow by 34% in 3 months. We’re adding 346 new email subscribers to our email list every day and we couldn’t be happier!
The first one boosts your ego, the second one sells your service. I’ll let you decide what out outcome you want.
How to Ask Your Clients For Testimonials (Without Sounding Annoying)
Getting testimonials can be a great way to grow your business. As your business grows and you get more and more testimonials, it’ll become easier and easier to convert strangers into customers.
but before you can reap the rewards, you first have to do the work of asking existing clients for a quote.
Ask for it
The way to get good testimonials from your customers and clients is to ask.
Earth shattering advice, right?
Now, if you’re shy, asking for a quote can be terrifying. That’s why I’ve provided an email script below that you can use.
When you’re asking for testimonials, make it easy for them to say yes. The easier it is for them to say yes, the more likely you’re going to get a business-boosting quote.
Method #1: Write it for them
One of the biggest barriers to getting a testimonial that builds your business is that it requires your client or customer to come up with something to say. A better way to do it is to write it for them and ask them if they’re ok with it. If they are, they only need to say yes.
If they’re not cool with it, they’ll either adjust it or come up with one that they agree with. Either way, you’ve shown that you’re trying to make it easier for people. Here’s a script that you can use to email your past clients or customers.
Subj: Can I get a quote for my site?
I really enjoyed working on XYZ project with you this past month.
I was wondering if I could get a quote from you that I can use on my website. To make it easy for you, I’ve written an example of what the quote could look like:
“Before working with Robin, we were struggling to create good content. We didn’t really have a clue what we were doing. Robin helped us out and created a content plan that we could follow. Our traffic is up by 54% since last year!”
-John Doe, XYZ Company
Feel free to change it however you like. If your short on time, just give me a thumbs up.
Method #2: Provide a form
If you’ve got loads of clients, writing a quote for every single one can become tedious. In that case, you can provide a form that has a couple of questions they can fill in. Afterwards, you can look at it and see what info you can use to create a testimonial.
Subj: Can I get a quote for my site?
I really enjoyed working on XYZ project with you this past month.
I was wondering if I could get a quote from you that I can use on my website. To make it easy for you, I’ve prepared a form that you can fill in. Here’s the link:
[link to form]
If you’re short on time, I’d love to put together a quick blurb and send it over for your approval.
In the form, ask questions like:
- What was your life/business like before we started working together?
- How has your experience changed since we worked together?
- Can you share any specific metrics?
- Would you recommend this product/service? Why?
- Did you have any initial hesitations working with me?
Once your client fills out the form, you can take their answer and create a kick ass testimonial.
Listen for it
You might already have a ton of testimonials that you don’t even know about. You can check out twitter or Facebook (or any other social networks) and see what people are saying about you.
If it’s published in a place where everyone can see (like twitter) you can just put it on your website as well.
Putting Your Testimonials To Work
Testimonials are useless if you’re not going to use them strategically throughout your website. It might be great for your ego, but it sure as hell won’t grow your business.
So what are some of the best places to show testimonials? Well, what ages require the most trust?
Here are a couple of areas on your website you can post a testimonial.
Look into your analytics and there a very high chance that your homepage is one of the most visited pages of your entire site. It makes sense to put social proof there so people know right off the bat that you’re legit and you know your stuff.
If you look at the Backlinko example below, you’ll see that Brian has a lot of social proof up front. He’s showing places he’s been featured in and he has peers praising him. All above the fold.
Landing pages are built to get results. Either you want to make a sale, or you want to get someone’s info. All those things require a good deal of trust on your visitor’s part. How do they know you’re not going to scam them? How do they know you’re not going to spam their inbox?
By displaying testimonial all over your landing and sales pages, you’re improving your chances of someone converting. It reminds people you’re legit, while they’re reading your copy. It can also help back up any claims you make.
After your home page, your about page is a hugely popular page on your site. It shows people who you are and what you’re about. By adding some quotes and social proof, you can also show people you’re the real deal.
Hire me page
If you’re looking to sell your service to clients, you can show off some testimonials on your hire me page. This is great because it’ll help build trust and you’re more likely to get some good inquiries.
Using quotes on your checkout page is like comforting someone who’s about to do something scary. You’re making sure they feel safe and remind them that people have done this before them.
Use The Power of Testimonials to Boost Your Business
You can praise yourself to the moon and show your clients samples up the wazoo, if you don’t build credibility, you’re going to have a tough time selling your product or service. Luckily, testimonials aren’t hard to get if you know what you’re doing.
Sure, it can be awkward at first, but the result is well worth the potential embarrassment.
Here’s what to do next:
- Take the scripts from this article and send it to one of your past clients.
- Use their feedback to create a solid testimonial.
- Put the quote on your website.
- Pat yourself on the back for a job well done